Posts tagged "1016915"

Commonwealth v. Spinucci (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-169-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-10018   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOSEPH SPINUCCI.       Middlesex.     April 10, 2015. – September 29, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ. Homicide.  Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon.  Practice, Criminal, Instructions to jury, Hearsay, Capital case.  Malice.  Evidence, Joint venturer, Hearsay.  Joint Enterprise.  Dangerous Weapon.     Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 9, 2004.   The cases were tried before Paul A. Chernoff, J., and a motion for postconviction relief was heard by him.     Joseph A. Hanofee for the defendant. Fawn D. Balliro Andersen, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     BOTSFORD, J.  In June, 2006, a Middlesex County jury found the defendant guilty of the murder in the first degree of Ryan Sullivan on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty; he also was found guilty of four related offenses involving two other victims, William Tighe and Jules Stevens.[1]  He appeals from these convictions and also appeals from the denial of his posttrial motion for relief.  He argues that the trial judge erred by declining to instruct the jury on manslaughter on a provocation theory; denying his motion for a new trial on the ground that a manslaughter instruction on this theory clearly was required; in connection with the murder charge, failing to instruct the jury that before they could infer malice from the intentional use of a dangerous weapon on the part of the defendant as a joint venturer with Van Gustave (see note 1, supra), the jury must find that the defendant knew Gustave was armed with a knife; allowing the jury to consider hearsay evidence to establish the defendant’s knowledge that his alleged joint venturer Gustave possessed a knife; and denying the defendant’s motion for a required finding of not guilty on the two charges relating to the victim Stevens.  He also claims that he is entitled to relief under G. L. c. 278, § 33E.  We affirm the defendant’s convictions and decline to grant relief pursuant to c. 278, § 33E. Background.  1.  Facts.  We summarize the facts the jury could have found, reserving certain details for later discussion in connection with the issues raised.  On the night of July 1, 2004, the city of Somerville put on a fireworks display in Trum Field.  The defendant, Gustave, and their respective […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm

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